Online Travel Booking and Bidding Agencies - Benefits/Drawback for Priceline vs VirginAtlantic
Feb 22, 12, 7:45 am
I'm looking at a specific flight both on Priceline and Virgin Atlantic. They are the same price on either site but I can get 2% back on Priceline via Upromise which is about $50. It seems like a no-brainer to me to get $50 back through Upromise and Priceline. Is there anything I am overlooking? What are the drawbacks to booking through Priceline instead of the carrier? Will I be able to access my flight on the V.A. website, change seats, choose meal preference, etc? What happens if something gets screwed up with my flight? Do I deal with Priceline or V.A. and does it matter?
For $50 I'd always book with the airline. If problems arise (cancellations, missed flight, etc.) you have no "middle man."
I would say take the $50. Yes, you will still be able to see the flight on the airline's website and choose preferences as usual.
I don't buy the argument about eliminating the middle man. Many times airlines tell you to book directly with them because it's cheaper for them to process, but the ticket you are buying is exactly the same. This forum is full of people complaining about bad service from third party websites, but most of the time the airline is just trying to pass off blame to someone else rather than disappointing the customer themselves.
Feb 24, 12, 6:54 am
Thanks for the info. I think due to the expensive nature of a trip to Europe it will be slightly better for me to deal directly with the airline should a problem arise so I can make sure to get to my destination.
Feb 24, 12, 8:56 am
....This forum is full of people complaining about bad service from third party websites, but most of the time the airline is just trying to pass off blame to someone else rather than disappointing the customer themselves.
Exactly. FULL OF PEOPLE. So this is common, not unusual. And yet, if booked with the airline directly, is often avoided. I don't care to spend 5 hr on the phone being given the runaround by airlines and expedia and travelocity and whoever else, just to save $50. My time is worth more than $10/hr. And ensuring that I arrive at my destination on time is worth lots more.
Feb 24, 12, 9:04 am
...most of the time the airline is just trying to pass off blame to someone else rather than disappointing the customer themselves. You're half right. Most of the time the airline is trying to pass of blame to someone else. But it doesn't care whether the customer is disappointed or not. Using an intermediary travel agent usually confers no advantages and definitely brings several risks. The airline and TA will point to each other when it comes to ticket snafus, rebooking, flight changes, etc. It's too easy for each to evade responsibility. $50 is a small price to pay for clarity when an unusual situation occurs and you're dependent on other parties to get you on your way. Buy from the airline.